Archive for August, 2011

Cell Phones-FAX-DO NOT CALL list-UPDATE!!!

August 29, 2011

My last blog told you about what I thought was a current bit of information regarding the National Do Not Call list. It seems that I didn’t have the full story.  My niece promptly sent me the correct and comprehensive info. Here’s what Dina had to say:

I had to question the cell phone information you wrote about in your blog because I work in a Telemarketing world. For about 8+ years, there has been an urban legend email going around stating that our cell phone numbers are being released to the world on such and such date. Each time the email circulates, the date changes. Not true. A phone# is a phone# is a phone#. If you don’t want telemarketing calls, logon to the website below and enter your phone number, your cell phone number and even your fax number!
It is now a permanent fix as opposed to a 5 year fix. You can call and have the same results, but I found the website very user friendly. Every company (like the insurance company I work for), who does Telemarketing has to adhere to severe guidelines before creating a list of customers or potential customers to call. Also, as a consumer, you have to realize that any company you have an existing business relationship with or even a company that you inquired to can telemarket/direct mail market/email market to you forever….unless you specifically request that they add you to THEIR do not call and/or do not mail list.
The guidelines that have been set are stringent. The guidelines have changed over the last 8-10 years and if a company does not abide by your request, you can file a formal complaint. The company can be penalized with some pretty steep fines. But remember, before you call to inquire about such and such…if you give your name, address and/or phone number…you will be added to their list of people to market to.
Thank you, Didi!
This is MeddlingMom…hope this update was helpful…

Hurricane Irene Update and Cell Phones-National DO NOT CALL list

August 28, 2011

Hurricane Irene certainly gave us a run for our money the past few days…People went into survival mode….much of what I am about to talk about is my experience and can seem mundane.  I am very appreciative that Hurricane Irene did not do the amount of damage that was predicted as a possibility. Finding flashlights was a real challenge. BJ’s told me they had loads of flashlights when I called at 9AM Friday.  When I got there all they had was a 5 pack of 5 inch flashlights, all different colors, very attractive. I did buy them although they were not what I was looking for!  Then I proceeded to Lowe’s and all they had were some super duper type rechargeables that were huge and looked like a drill, pretty heavy looking. It said they lasted,  I think, one and a half hours…(well, that wouldn’t do if we lost power!) and a tripod flashlight  with 3 separate flashlights that are attached to the tripod (which can stand). This flashlight was $30, lasts 5 hours and allows you to see 375 feet ahead!  So I bought that one, too!  Then of course we had to buy enough water  to last several days, non perishable foods and snacks. It felt like I had a new career. Then we had to put all of our deck furniture, excluding the heavy glass- topped table (which we turned upside down on the deck and weighted with a 50 pound bag of play sand) in our garage…also the grill went into the garage.  Hanging plants were brought in.  Then came the vigil of sitting here and watching the news coverage on TV, doing all possible laundry (in case we lost power for a week), putting together some bags and boxes of important things that must leave with us if we had to evacuate (family photos, important papers, etc.)

So last night we decided to watch a movie on ON DEMAND. During that time, we got a number of notices about Tornado watches in several counties and cities.  That stopped the movie we rented, then we couldn’t get the movie to continue…it was gone!  We had to go upstairs to another TV to watch the remainder of the movie…By the way, I highly recommend the movie we saw Frances starring Jessica Lang, about the life of Frances Farmer. This is a true story and heart-wrenching.   Well, that ended at 2AM and then we had the concern about whether we should stay awake to see or hear the hurricane.  We chose sleep.  I woke up this morning at 7:30. In my neighborhood…NOTHING happened…or I should say not much…our house did not lose power.  There are plenty of houses in the 5 county region that lost power and I am certain there is plenty of water damage. Compared to what we thought COULD HAVE HAPPENED…I am very relieved that the preparations-for the most part- were not needed-and that our governments and utility companies did what they needed to to make things go as well as possible…oftentimes we are cynical about government and utilities and all that we think they don’t do for us.  I have to say I am pretty impressed right now by their professionalism and expertise.

Of course I am saddened that anyone lost their lives and that there is damage to many businesses and homes. Manayunk, I am sure has had quite a lot of water damage along with other low-lying areas. Although Irene has not moved away from North America yet, she will be gone soon, within hours.  Bye, bye, Irene, happy to see you leave.

On a  completely different topic,  Cell Phones Go Public This Month!  Here is the Opt Out Information:
All cell phone numbers are being released to telemarketing companies and you will start to receive sales calls.
YOUR MINUTES WILL BE CHARGED FOR THESE CALLS…To prevent this, call the following number from your cell phone:  888-382-1222
It is the National DO NOT CALL list It will only take a minute of your time. It blocks your number for five (5) years. You must call from the cell phone number you want to have blocked.

Hurricane Irene- the East Coast-be prepared!!!

August 25, 2011

My friend Bonnie forwarded this message to me today, sent to her by her dear sister Randy who lives in Florida. I hope you will heed Randy’s advise. It sounds very reasonable and may prove to be essential to those of us here on the east coast who are anticipating Hurricane Irene in the next few days…

Joe and I were just saying last nite that probably no one up north was taking this too seriously – When we moved here there was a level 1 hurricane and it was BAD — from what I see …looks like it may hit you as a 2 or 3 —- so really what I always do is prepare for the power outage – you could have no power for days – PLEASE  be sure you have water for flushing toilets (they sell 5 gallon containers which I fill and put in my bathtub – or you can fill plastic jugs)  and moisture wipes for bathing – things like peanut butter, tuna, canned meats, lots of non perishables – and they sell milk in the cardboard for cereal and coffee etc – Make a pot of coffee Saturday and put it in the fridge –  a non electric can opener – your cell phone charged – gas tank full – a Coleman stove is a good idea – Be sure you have a radio that is battery operated – and I even have a battery operated 12” fan – it will get hot after a while    I am really not trying to get carried away — but I have had my power out and the hurricane was 50 miles away – Glad you moved everything off the patio and all  

Okay – now that I scared the bejesus out of you – get cracking !!! I will be in touch!  Hurricane central over and out!

Thanks to Bonnie for forwarding this and to Randy for caring so much about her sister….,we will all reap the rewards of your love, Randy…The truth is that here in the Philadelphia area, we tend to not pay too much attention to hurricane warnings…maybe some photos would be helpful and have an impact.

The most impressive hurricane that I remember in my life as a child was Hurricane Hazel

This is MeddlingMom…take care…and have a great and safe weekend…

The Economy-Warren Buffett-Howard Schultz-Piers Morgan Tonight

August 18, 2011

As I was watching Piers Morgan’s show last night, right after Christine O’Donnell called Piers “rude” and quit the interview midstream, a most interesting and compelling guest came on the show and inspired this blog post.  Howard Schultz, Chairman and CEO of Starbucks  ( which, by the way, has made Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list for 13 years) was sincere, clear-thinking, respectful and appeared to be a very stable man.    He is calling for major corporations to boycott contributions for political campaigns because our elected officials are not doing their job, taking care of this country, solving problems.  Schultz believes we must restore confidence in America by doing the right things for this country.  He says there are principles  used by corporations which would help with our economic recovery and success.  He believes that one of the most important issues right now is re-establishing our credibility  and strengthening our nation. The American people must know that no matter what their station in life is, there is opportunity to excel and to stretch beyond any imaginable expectancy (those are my words) and that THE AMERICAN DREAM IS ALIVE!!!. He mentioned that for the first time in our history, we have more people employed by government than holding manufacturing jobs.

Oh, my, I just realized that Mr. Schultz sounds like an idealist… terrible thing. For the record …he was raised in the projects…

FYI, Starbucks was the first company in America to provide comprehensive healthcare for every employee.

Several days before the above interview, there were headlines about Warren Buffett‘s plea that he and others who earn a million dollars or more should pay more taxes. He said he paid a lower rate  than his domestic help (I think that’s what he said).

After all the garbage we’ve heard recently and for many months, it is truly a pleasure to hear some people speak with reason and intelligence. Thank you to Warren Buffett and Howard Schultz, my heroes today!

This is Meddling Mom….have a  good weekend…let me hear your thoughts  sometime…

Here is a comment from one of my readers about this post:

I think one of the reasons we have more people in government than in manufacturing is because we’ve out-sourced those jobs to other countries. This is a result of consumers’ demand for cheap goods and stockholder greed for profit. Ever since Barack Obama was elected president the right wing has abandoned their responsibility to the American people. After the election they stated that their goal is to make Obama a 1 term President and they have stuck to that goal. Their struggle for power has been the greatest impediment to this country’s progress. They blame Obama for the deficit. They don’t talk about the Money and lives lost for the senseless wars. If not for the wars and the greedy banks and Wall Street, everyone could have full healthcare coverage. Big money and lobbyists have taken away any power we ever had over elections. Look at Fox. Fox is a huge propaganda machine disguised as a legitimate news provider.

College-Bound/Back-To-School-Make those purchases!

August 14, 2011

Well, it is  time to finalize purchases for your college-bound son or daughter…backpacks, staplers, shredders, etc. If your son or daughter attended college last year, you probably have all of the furnishings for their rooms or apartments, securely tucked away awaiting departure day.  For the Freshman…right now you may be looking at all kinds of things…bedspreads, sheets, comforters, pillows, towels, wastebaskets, personal refrigerators, microwaves, coffeemakers, snacks,  clothing, lamps, computers, printers, iphones, ipads and of course, school supplies.  Most teenage females already purchase (or at least, select) their own cosmetics and some of their toiletries…hair products, razors, shaving cream, etc.  Males …on the other hand…may or may not have taken an interest in selecting toiletries, my guess is that most are not involved in that aspect of their lives. There’s a great service you can subscribe to so that your son won’t have to shop for his toiletries.  Take a look at Automated Mom, mom,  and see how you can effectively ensure that your son will have everything he needs to take care of himself, hygiene-wise, if you know what I mean.  I am sure you don’t want him to go without the necessities and  s-m-e-l-l…. Automated Mom has name brand products and also the products young men prefer. Remember you can customize your order and select what you want for his kit.. Feel free to call the company with questions at 1-888-315-DUDE or 3833.

For your young children, , backpacks, notebooks, binders, loose leaf paper, pens, markers, staplers, rulers, protractors, water bottles and  on and on…also lunch boxes for the little ones.  Stores have all kinds of blow out sales this time of year to help you get a good deal with these items. It really helps to do your homework before going to the stores and check out your local store flyers. And of course, you can always make your purchases online.

Google your favorites stores and find the best buys available.

Happy shopping and for those who have freshmen leaving for college…everything will be fine…

This is MeddlingMom…

Standard and Poors-Americans’ Disgust! Stock Market

August 9, 2011

I don’t profess to be an expert on economics, nor do I know much about ratings, like Standard and Poors  or the Stock Market. What I do know about is that the American people simply have lost all confidence in our elected officials in Washington, D.C.  Standard and Poors’ downgrading of our rating is not the reason the stock market has plummeted. The reason is …nobody has any faith in this nation’s ability to take care of business, create jobs, re-establish economic stability.  The behavior of the Republican members of Congress has been an abomination. The absolute nonsense and lack of real concern we and the world’s citizens have been watching…these people have acted like a bunch of two year olds. Not ALL of them, of course. Who would trust a two year old to make decisions for a nation?

The word “compromise” has lost its value, to say the least. Being willing to negotiate with others, looking at all sides of an issue, reviewing all factors-these are  important components when looking for solutions. However, there is never any good reason to “compromise” with bullies or the disingenuous, i.e. most of the Republicans in our nation’s capitol.  When a child is bullied in school, do we tell that child to compromise? NO!!!  The American people have their hands tied behind their backs; I must say that those who elected the RIGID RUDE REPUBLICANS deserve this mess.  Anyone who votes for these selfish people should have their heads examined! I really can’t believe that all of Congress left Washington for their summer recess.  When your job isn’t done in a satisfactory manner and there is garbage sitting on your desk,  going on vacation seems to be an insane idea.  Doesn’t it make sense to clean up the mess you’ve made?  There is no accountability at all.  How about taking away the opportunity to go away on vacation with your family and take your family to live in North Philadelphia for the month of August? Or maybe to one of those neighborhoods in New Orleans that still has not recovered from Hurricane Katrina?  Or maybe just to live with a family that has no healthcare coverage, but does have someone dying from ill health and  about to lose their home!  I think it is time that they have to see how some of the people who are suffering are living and what they are dealing with.

Isn’t anyone else besides those with substantial investments worth anything?  The news just goes on, not even mentioning what a travesty it is that Congress is ON VACATION!  When are we going to expect Congress to do what is best for this country? WHEN???  I can’t even imagine how embarrassed Americans who consider themselves to be Republicans must feel.  Crawl under the table, folks…you elected these thieves!

What needs to be done to re-establish trust in our government?  You and I know what has to be done….raise the tax rate on the rich. Do I mean on those earning $250,000? No! Start at half a mil…that would be just fine with me… it is appropriate, Now I don’t know whether I really consider half a mil in income to qualify you as being rich. What it does qualify you for is the category of definitely having more than enough, being able to give something back.

We need to stop terrifying the elderly, many of whom aren’t able to eat or buy their medications with their current income.  We need to stop harping about  cutting Social Security and Medicare. We need to create a single-payer health care plan and eliminate insurance companies from health care; should insurance companies really be making decisions about whether you get the treatment you need…what do THEY know about health? NOTHING!!!  On the flip side of the elderly or those receiving Social Security benefits, which they have paid into, I believe the rich should not receive any more from Social Security than what they ACTUALLY PAID INTO IT!  And  I would quantify “rich” in this instance with a much lower number in terms of current income.  Maybe $100,000 a year.

Next, get rid of all of the little tax bennies that the large corporations have enjoyed for far too long at the expense of every American.  Those few changes will alter the “income” to our nation’s coffers and then maybe we can start to feel like the American Dream has not been hijacked permanently.

We have had it, haven’t we?  I don’t advocate a revolution, but I do wonder how much the American public is willing to take. I mean…when are we going to get fed up and protest what has been going on?  Here is a list of your U. S. Senators and  a  list of the members of the U.S. House of Representatives

Please keep these lists and use them when you have something to say.

Of course there is job creation, solar and wind power, using the oil that we have in our country, recycling…doing what we already know how to do. These should all be initiatives that our government supports along with so many other ways of being honest and decent role models for the next generations. They won’t do it unless we insist. It’s up to us. Make that call!  Send that e-mail!

This is MeddlingMom…..kudos to Diana Nyad for swimming for 29 hours…towards her goal!

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